The Green Evening Requiem
posted on 6/2010 By:
Over the past eighteen months or so, the Madden brothers have been quietly making a name for themselves in independent metal circles. No, not those eyeliner-clad cockbags that make a living by chasing pubescent starlet tang. Evan and Shane Madden are an in-demand rhythm combo (drums and bass, respectively) that not only played on Woods of Ypres' mammoth Green Album, but also provide the backbone for the 2010 incarnation of USBM iconoclasts Woe. Don't mistake them for mere roleplayers, though. The Green Evening Requiem is their main creative outlet. While this blackened doom entity (currently a trio, rounded out by Woe mastermind Chris Grigg on guitar) is not on par with the Madden Bros. peripheral units, it certainly boasts a unique, intimate appeal.
Decomposer is a quality follow-up to the very debut-ish Bastards of Atlas, but it begins rather auspiciously. Opener "The Past is Dead" is a jarringly-arranged clusterfuck of stylistic toe-dipping. A burly, midrangy, not-quite-blackstomp with a skim-coating of sludge--replete with poorly mixed vocals and off-the-rails blasting--it achieves the exact opposite of what an opener should. Not only does it belie the direction of the rest of the album, but it threatens to completely disengage the listener before the album even starts. The band doesn't settle the fuck down until the third track, "Tenereal," where the groove becomes stronger and the compositions grow stouter. A bit of post-metal seepage worms it's way into their sound (think a thinner, way faster Process of Guilt), and Grigg's riffing does it's damnedest to stand out amidst an indifferent production aesthetic.
The true gem of the album is the seven-minute centerpiece, "Decomposer." Its deliberate pace, knuckle-down riffing, and heartfelt cleans give it a bold character that shows this band's burgeoning potential. The remainder of the album shows flashes (especially the Zeppelin-esque "Deprived and Starved"), but "Decomposer" is the textbook brain-sticker, not in the least due to the clean vocals that prove to be grossly underutilized. The harsh vocals that dominate the rest of the album occupy a static, workmanlike middle course, which only serve to render "Decomposer" a welcome oasis.
The Green Evening Requiem's compelling frequencies are many, but rarely do they let them fully swell and breathe. With a little more legroom, their results could be fanastic. However, the very concept of the black/doom hybrid is a tricky enterprise. Black metal typically sacrifices heft for panache, but doom fuckin' requires that heft. Striking a perfect balance has been elusive to most that have tried. Time will tell if the Reqiuem's efforts will be fruitious, but if the pained crawl of "The Subtleties of Imperfection" is any indicator, the band may be doomed...in the best way possible.
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RelatedThe Green Evening Requiem
Bastards Of Atlas
3/13/2009 The Green Evening Requiem
Self Titled Demo